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Australian Open director reveals huge sign Serena Williams will defend title

The American lifted her 23rd Grand Slam singles title in Melbourne in January, but hasn't played competitively since

The signs seems more and more likely that Serena Williams will return to action on court at the Australian Open.

Tournament director Craig Tiley believes the 36-year-old, who hasn’t played competitively since her triumph at Melbourne Park in January when she was pregnant with her first child, will be ready to defend her title at the beginning of 2018.

It’s been a busy break for the American, who gave birth to a baby girl Alexis Olympia in September, before marrying Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian last month.

Tiley has confirmed that their reigning champion has signed up to enter the first Grand Slam of the season, where she stands one behind Margaret Court’s record of 24 Major singles trophies.

“She's got her visa, she's entered, she's practising and she's probably just got to find a bit more space for a bigger entourage,” Tiley told Australian newspaper the Herald Sun.

“There's no question that she'll be ready in our view and she wants to break a record that is Margaret Court's.

Serena Williams lifted the 2017 Australian Open after beating sister Venus in the final (Image: REUTERS)

The American kept up her tennis even during her pregnancy (Image: Serenawilliams/Instagram)

"It would be a pretty significant accomplishment for her to be able to do that.”

Williams was pictured back on court on Tuesday alongside her sister Venus. They hosted a charity event at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center in Washington, to raise money for their Compton-based Yetunde Price Resource Center.

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  • Serena Williams shows off incredible new wedding ring in picture with adorable daughter Alexis Olympia

The legendary tennis siblings launched the centre in 2016, naming it after their elder sister, who was killed in a 2003 drive-by shooting.

Williams married Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian Sr last month

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